Third High Farms biosolids division sold to conglomerate

Third High Farms – File photo

IROQUOIS – A large independently-owned South Dundas employer has been sold. Third High Farms announced to employees June 8th that its environmental divisions have been sold to Terrapure Environmental.

“Third High Farms was a perfect fit,” said Greg Jones, managing director of communications and public affairs with Terrapure. “There are a number of benefits they bring to our business. What it does is expand our footprint in the sector.”

Third High Farms is not the first organic biosolids company the Burlington Ontario-based conglomerate has purchased. In 2017, the company bought Terratec based out of Hamilton, which serves southwestern and central Ontario, along with the Greater Toronto area.

“What we didn’t have was much access to Eastern Ontario,” Jones said. “This purchase gives us that. In fact Third High and Terrapure often have overlapping customers such as the city of Toronto.”

Jones added that Third High adds capabilities that Terrapure did not have such as storage and advanced treatment processes for Class A biosolids.

“Terratec doesn’t have at lot of storage,” he said.

In Class A biosolids, pathogens must be “virtually undetectable” according to Canadian Water and Wastewater Association. Class B biosolids may have higher levels of detectable pathogens.

In the short term, there will be no changes to the operation of the Third High Farms biosolids division.

Terrapure Environmental will operate Third High as a stand-alone division. There will be no changes to employment at the company nor changes for any customers.

“We need the people, we need the contracts,” Jones said. “This was part of looking at where to grow. There are some complimentary aspects of Terratec and Third High. This will strengthen our relationships.”

He said it will be business as usual for 2018. After the season is over, he said the company will look at integrating the two operations together.

“That’s more internal stuff,” Jones explained. “By then we can plan on growing the combined business in the intermediate and longer term.”

A name change will follow, as the Swerdfeger family is retaining the Third High farms name for their family farm operation.

The family will still be involved in the biosolids division, with Dean Swerdfeger staying on as manager of the Iroquois operation. He will report to Doug Legge who runs the Terratec division.

The Leader reached out to Swerdfeger for comment on the purchase, but none was given by press time. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Terrapure Environmental is an environmental services company with industrial operations in every province except Manitoba. The company specializes in industrial waste, wastewater treatment, battery recycling, automotive services, oil recycling, refinery, and pharmaceutical services.